The January 6 Committee showed a video of former President Donald Trump setting up his false allegations of voter fraud during its second hearing.
Zoe Lofgren, a Democratic committee member and Representative from California, said Monday that “the plot to overturn the election was complex and had many parts.”
She said Mr Trump’s plan to overturn the election “relyed on a sustained effort to mislead millions of Americans with knowingly false allegations of voter fraud”.
“All elements of the conspiracy were based on his supporters’ belief in these false allegations,” Ms Lofgren added. She said the committee would present evidence that Mr. Trump’s claims “were false, that he and his closest advisers knew those claims were false, but they still continued to peddle them until the moments before ‘a mob attacks the Capitol’.
The Trump campaign used the false claims to “raise hundreds of millions of dollars from supporters who were told their donations were for the legal fight in court,” Ms Lofgren said. “But the Trump campaign didn’t use the money for that – The Big Lie was a big scam too.”
“The former president laid the groundwork for these misrepresentations long before the election,” Ms Lofgren said. “As early as April 2020, Mr. Trump asserted that the only way to lose an election would be through fraud.”
The committee then played a montage of clips of Mr Trump, from April 2020, making a number of false claims about the upcoming election.
“You know everything that happens with the grouping, and everything that happens with mail-in votes, where thousands of votes are collected, and I’m not going to say which party does it, but thousands of votes are collected and they come in and they get thrown into a place and then suddenly you lose an election that you think you’re going to win,” Mr. Trump said from the White House briefing room podium on April 8, 2020.
On August 17, he said, “the only way we can lose this election is if the election is rigged – remember that”.
During a debate against then-candidate Joe Biden on September 29, 2020, Mr. Trump said: “This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen – take a look at West Virginia – postmen selling the ballots, they are sold, they are dumped in the rivers – it is a horrible thing for our country”.
“There is no evidence of this,” Mr. Biden then launched.
“This is not going to end well,” Mr. Trump said.
Ms Lofgren said “Mr. Trump decided, even before the election, that regardless of the facts and the truth, if he lost the election, he would claim it was rigged.”
“Mr. Trump was right about one thing – it didn’t end well,” Ms. Lofgren added.
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